Porting Number to ATT into a Family Talk Plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ijohnw, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. ijohnw macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    #1
    Yesterday, I bought a 3G iphone. I then had the original iphone that I wanted to have a number from Verizon ported over to ATT to use my old iphone and set that up as a family plan with my old iphone and new iphone 3g.

    I spent over an hour on the phone with customer service rep saying it could not be done! The reason:

    My current iPhone 3G number is from a different Market - Indiana Number which has a different billing system being used than the porting number from VZ will have since it is a North Carolina area code. This doesn't make sense to me at all...they told me since Indiana was an old Cingular area, they are using a different billing system but I switched over to ATT when the first iphone came out.

    She said that this scenario is impossible to do...does anyone have any ideas? thoughts? ATT is one huge company so i don't get the two whole billing systems!
     
  2. adebaene macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #2
    I am in a similar situation. Wife and I have numbers from Illinois we would like to port. We would be buying phones in Wisconsin. The ATT store said it could not be done. Also, ATT's website says it cannot be done.

    Here is the kicker. When on ATT's website, when asking to port the number if I put in the zip code of where I used to live (Illinois), it says it is fine, and lets me proceed.

    So, here is what we will need to do.
    Tell ATT our billing address/"where we will primarily use the phone" is in Illinois, it will work fine. We should be able to port with no problems.

    I am pretty sure once we are ported and activated I can log into ATT website and change our address. I know its not the easiest/best thing to do, but I am thinking it is going to be our best option.

    Keep us posted as to how it goes.

    I would just tell them your billing address is back in Indy and see if they let you port it then.
     
  3. ijohnw thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    #3
    I just called NBO - 888-444-4410

    I talked to a rep and then I talked to their manager and was very adamant about having the numbers getting together on a family talk plan. She said it can not totally happen. Both people said that since they are in different markets. I still don't get this as ATT is one HUGE company and won't allow this! Stupid telephone companies!

    Anyways I asked about transfering my billing account to the different market and she said they can't do it...I asked about NBI account - it has a to be a business number then that number get removed from the business plan to create a new separate plan for that number...

    The only way she said could be done is create a business account and have the numbers together...which is ridiculous why can't the a consumer plan work that way...the iPhone data plan would then be more expensive since they think you will be using more data since you area on business plan! *rolls eyes*

    Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to get this accomplished? ideas? thoughts?
     
  4. Ninja Guidan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    #4

    No suggestions but I do have a little insight on the different billing systems thingy...short version is SBC bought AT&T...changed name to AT&T...you have AT&T's billing system plus SBC's mismash of billing systems (they used to be SBC, Pacific Bell, and someone else, I forgot who). Before SBC buys AT&T, SBC has partnership with Bellsouth for wireless only...calls it Cingular. Old AT&T before SBC buys them sells AT&T Wireless to Cingular. Becomes bigger Cingular with more billing systems. SBC buys AT&T. Still has funky partnership with Bellsouth (Cingular). Eventually buys Bellsouth. One big happy family right? No. A bunch of different billing systems that are incompatible with each other and are probably at least 10 years away from merging all the systems together. How would I know you ask...I used to work for MCI that became MCIWorldcom that became Worldcom that went back to MCI that was eventually bought by Verizon.
     
  5. ijohnw thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    #5
    What an absolute mess!!!!! Why can't it ever just be easy?
     
  6. temp123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #6
    ugh, i've been having the same exact problem. when i moved to verizon a few years ago, this wasn't a problem at all, i guess because they have a more consolidated billing system. but now that i got a new iphone, i can't join my family's family plan AND keep my old number. talked to at&t customer service for a while today (even spoke directly with the porting department)...they said the only thing i could do was create a new account, separate from the family plan.

    has anyone had any luck getting this to work? i can't help but wonder if it IS in fact possible and they're just too resistant/lazy to make it work.
     
  7. ryanolf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    #7
    The same thing happened with my fiancee. We tried to add her number to my family plan, but since her number is from a different region, they couldn't do it. Technically, I think they should be able to, but they said they couldn't. Has anyone found someone at ATT that can make something like this work?
     
  8. temp123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #8
    i was able to get it to work, but i had to jump through a bunch of hoops and be very persistent. the ONLY way to get it to work is to change your account to a business account. there is no price increase. in fact everything remains exactly the same, you just end up on the business billing system instead of the "personal" billing system. worked for me - my number ported over no problem. hope that helps.
     
  9. ijohnw thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    #9
    they did offer trying to change my account into a bizness account but the rate on iphone data rate plans goes up 15 dollars...which I don't think is worth it.....

    there has to be a way around this and be able to combine two numbers..this is basically the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of
     
  10. temp123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #10
    as i said before, my family did it with our family plan last week, and i'm only paying $30 for my iphone data, no questions asked. just call the at&t transfer of service number and tell them that the only reason you want to do it is to port over a number. tell them that you spoke with an at&t store manager who gave you the info and he/she said that there would be no price increase and that you'd be able to keep the $30 iphone rate. my mom runs a small business from home, so maybe they would treat it differently if you were giving the tax id of a large business to switch to the NBI market, but it definitely IS possible (even though it is a MAJOR headache - thanks at&t)
     
  11. Sincereh2001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville
    #11
    I was afraid of having the same issue, so I just gave my old address at the apple store. Once my number was ported I went to att.com and changed it to my new address. It worked perfectly.
     
  12. temp123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #12
    was that for a family plan? i tried that myself initially, but because it was a family plan, it didn't work.
     
  13. Sincereh2001 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville
    #13
    I did my number at the Apple store and went to the at&t store the next day and got a free phone for my wife, ported her number from verizon, and added to my line. So it wasn't a family plan when I ported mine, but it was when we ported hers.
     
  14. macr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #14
    Ok if I understand Sincereh2001's comments, then this will work:

    Say husband has T-Mobile 917 number with NY address and wants to join wife who has AT&T 415 number with SF address and family plan.

    Step 1) Husband should port T-Mobile 917 number to AT&T using same NY address. Husband will now have individual account with AT&T under NY billing center.

    Step 2) Husband should go online to website and change address to SF address. AT&T won't force him to give up his phone number - but it will effectively transfer his 917 number from the NY billing center to the SF billing center.

    Step 3) Husband can then successfully join wife's family plan under SF billing center despite his 917 area code.

    Is this correct?
     
  15. ryanolf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    #15
    I talked to a surprisingly helpful person at ATT last week and explained that same chain of events to her. She said it sounded like it would work, and checked it with their "relocation specialists." She also made a note on our account saying that I had asked about this, and that she had said it would work, in case we run into trouble down the road.

    There are a few things to keep in mind, though, that the ATT rep pointed out to me.

    1.) You have to receive and pay a bill at the old (NY, in your case) address before you can change the address. So allow a month on a solo plan.

    2.) You have to have the account open for 60 days before you can change the name on the account, which I think is what happens when it rolls into the family plan (which is under a different name). This can be circumvented if you have the name on his solo ATT account w/ NY address be the same, from the start, as the name on your family plan. However, to port the number and have the name change, he will have to call his provider and release the number to you, so that when ATT's porting people get in contact with his carrier to take the number, they can approve it.

    Bottom line, he has to have the solo account at the old address for 30 days, and the account should be opened in the same name as the name on your family plan.
     
  16. temp123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #16
    no, this will not work. I spent lots of time on this issue, speaking with countless AT&T reps both over the phone and in store. the reason what you are trying to do will no work is because the 917 number exists within a different billing zone, regardless of what the billing address is. the fact that 917 and 415 numbers each represent two different parts of the country is the problem, not where the bill actually goes. i realize that this really doesnt make any practical sense, but its the way it is with att. the ONLY way for this to work is to switch your account to a business account and THEN port his number over. for whatever reason, business accounts aren't limited to the same regional restrictions that affect consumer accounts.


     
  17. bstpierre macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    #17
    I am on a business account so I can get my employer discount and I do not pay extra for the iPhone data plan. I think there is a difference between a business account and a business data plan. One doesn't require the other.
     
  18. ZDDP1273 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    #18
    I didn't have a problem porting my number over to my parents' family plan, but we were in the same area code and everything.
     
  19. macr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #19
    Moved over to NBI and problem solved. That's the way to accomplish this.
     
  20. cwolber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    new york
    #20
    Switching to buisness plan

    So do you need a tax id number or anything like that to switch to a business plan, or can anyone have a small business plan?
     
  21. cwolber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    new york
    #21
    Do you need a tax id number to open a small business plan?
     
  22. cWeems macrumors 6502a

    cWeems

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    FLORIDA, USA
    #22
    all areas of the country are in markets. NBI is an account which is not market specific, thus having different area codes is possible. it is specifically for business accounts, but many customers i have dealt with do have NBI accounts for this reason. so a SS# will work fine u do not need a tax ID.

    going online and changing an address does not do anything but change your address... u can have an address for where ever you want in any market, thats jus where ur bills will be sent, it wont change your market jus because u changed that online.
     
  23. macr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #23
    Yes, address changes do not change your market so NBI is the only way.

    When ordering the iPhone the rep does a totally ad-hoc check on your business looking for a website and checking public data-mining sites to try to see how long you've been in business. It's just an attempt to combat snatch and run iPhone signups. The assessment is totally subjective so if you have a good story and perhaps some plausible documentation I'd expect you would be ok. The rep clearly wants the business.

    One issue I am discovering is their billing system is broken so when you port a number in to join a family plan they have to put it on an individual plan initially then switch it over to the family plan at the next billing cycle. The problem with this is A) they don't tell you they are doing this in advance and B) they charge you for the month on the individual plan!

    To combat this you have to make a stink and insist they courtesy credit you for the extra month on the individual plan. Also try to schedule it to coincide with the end of the billing cycle which apparently makes all account changes cheaper.
     
  24. cwolber macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    new york
    #24
    Can you change to a NBI over the phone or do you have to go the the store to do it? My finace has att from south jersey and I have verizon from new york. I want to change her account to a NBI so i can port my number over, but we dont have a business. Will this all be a problem?
     
  25. macr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #25
    All over the phone, call them up. The group is intended to serve businesses so it would be better if you had one or can act like you have one. If you can't do that then tell your rep your situation and see if he'll help you.
     

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